c.db.sn – Terrestrial
Where to begin?
c.db.sn hales from Denver Colorado and is the solo project of an artist whose proper name is Chase Dobson. Dobson sent over the tracks for this review about ten days ago. I didn’t really know what to expect. I expected some sort of IDM Glitch type affair but I wasn’t prepared for what was to happen from the moment I pressed play and gave Terrestrial it’s first digital spin of many to follow. Terrestrial is a 21 track remastered collection of works including compilation appearances, collaborations, b-sides, remixes, and previously unreleased material. Of Tundras and Glaciers kicks off what may very well be the most stunning collection of works I’ll hear all year. Being one who is a creator of Electronic Music myself, listening to an album of this caliber forces me to take a look at my own inadequacies as a writer / composer. Terrestrial reveals many.
To simply pin this 21 track release down as Ambient / Glitch / Brindance / What-have-you in no way does it any justice. Yes there are elements of ambience, there are glitch techniques of many kind, there are 808 kicks, and there are even a few tracks with vocals. But the way in which these elements are combined with such mastery and elegance, is what really sets Terrestrial apart, from the other “x” amount of releases that will be made available through Bandcamp this month, and also in the months to follow.
The tracks, being as big as they are delicate, present a welcome juxtaposition in sound, feel, and structure, that is often set aside in favor of maximum loudness with most modern electronic music of today. At times the work feels as if it could evaporate into thin air and vanish as quickly as it came, but it never loses focus as the listener is taken from one point in the journey to the next.
On the technical front it doesn’t get any better than this. Terrestrial passed this writers three medium test, including the car, the cans, and a couple of tiny bookshelf speakers, with flying colors. From a sound design perspective the combined sounds and their respective styles create a landscape of sonic indulgence that makes absolutely zero practical sense. 4amcatataq, for example, combines midrange bass tones, with ambient pads, guitar, and the ever present glitch in such a way that the midrange bass is accepted as both a welcome, and vital, component to the track. At no point in time does the urge to press skip arise as it would with, again, many other tracks of today in which this type of sound is used.
The next step in a review of this nature might be to list tracks of note. However, with Terrestrial, that is an impossible thing to do as each one stands on it’s own while fitting right in with that which came before and with what is to follow.
In a world wrought with flavor of the month productions fetching upwards of $15.00 for their purchase, here, Dobson is basically giving the record away for a mere five dollars. This album is definitely at it’s best when bought and listened to as a whole. It’s also an album that demands your attention, commands a certain level of intentional listening, and promises to take any listener on a journey they will not soon forget.
Rating: 5/5 Stars